Author Guidelines

Online submission and review of manuscripts is now mandatory for all types of paper. Please prepare your manuscript following the instructions for authors given below before submitting it online at If submission is completed successfully, a manuscript ID will appear on screen, and an e-mail acknowledgement will follow. All subsequent correspondence should be sent to the Assistant Editor, Lauren Sandhu, at

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Publication Policy | Preprint policyTypes of Paper Published | Types of Decisions | Appeals | Research and Publication Ethics | Declaration of Conflicts of Interest | Data Archiving | Manuscript Submission | Manuscript Structure | Manuscript Specifications  | Colour Work Agreement Form | Exclusive Licence Agreement | OnlineOpen | Accepted Manuscripts

Publication Policy
Journal of Ecology appears six times a year and publishes original research papers on all aspects of the ecology of plants (including algae), in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. We do not publish papers concerned solely with cultivated plants and agricultural ecosystems, although manuscripts using such species or systems to address important ecological or evolutionary questions may be considered. Studies of plant communities, populations or individual species are accepted, as well as studies of the interactions between plants and animals, fungi or bacteria, providing they focus on the ecology of the plants.

We aim to bring important work using any ecological approach (including molecular techniques) to a wide international audience and therefore only publish papers with strong and ecological messages that advance our understanding of ecological principles. The research presented must transcend the limits of case studies. Both experimental and theoretical studies are accepted, as are descriptive or historical accounts, although these must offer insights into issues of general interest to ecologists.

Papers should have a broad interest, and submission of reports that break new ground or advance our understanding of ecological principles is particularly welcomed.

We aim for the content of the Journal to reflect the changing emphasis in our subject area and therefore urge authors to consider submitting their best and most current work to us.

All submissions will be assessed by one or more editors to determine whether they fall within the broad remit of Journal of Ecology and meet the above-mentioned requirements. Papers that do not fulfil these criteria are likely to be rejected without review. This reduces the burden on both the refereeing community and the editorial system and enables authors to submit, without delay, to another journal. After this initial screening, all types of papers are subject to peer review and authors can expect a decision, or an explanation for the delay, within three months of receipt. If a revision is requested, the correspondence author should submit the revised manuscript within two months. Otherwise, revisions may be treated as new submissions and sent for further evaluation by new referees, unless there are special reasons for prolonged delay agreed, in advance, with the editor.

The journal operates a single-blind confidential peer-review process. Author names are not concealed. Editors and reviewers are expected to handle the manuscripts confidentially and must not disclose any details to anyone outside of the review process. Reviewers also have the right to confidentiality and their names are not revealed to authors unless they choose to sign their review. Peer review comments should remain confidential even after a manuscript receives a final decision. Manuscripts are normally reviewed by two independent experts in the relevant area. All correspondence between an author, editor, and peer reviewer should remain in confidence unless explicit consent has been given by all parties, including the journal, or unless there are exceptional ethical or legal circumstances that require identities or details of the correspondence to be revealed. Reviewers are acknowledged through a list of contributing reviewers published each year on the journal website. Reviewers are welcome to claim reviews for the journal on third party sites (such as Publons), but review comments and details of specific papers should not be published.

We strongly encourage senior reviewers to review in collaboration with more junior members of their lab. We believe that this is fantastic training for early career researchers. If, as the head of a lab, you are invited to review but are too busy to provide a review yourself, we also encourage you to suggest early career members of your lab to review in your place. In this case we advise you to look over the comments before they are submitted and approve them. The reviewer should note that this has been done in their confidential comments.

If you would like to share a review with an early career researcher in your lab, please bear in mind the following:

- Contact the journal first – please don’t forget that the review process is confidential and it is very important that the journal is informed before a review is shared.
- Give the names of all who read the manuscript and contributed to the review in the confidential comments to Editors section of the review. This is important for two reasons, first so that there is a proper record of anyone who has read a copy of the manuscript. Second, so that anyone who contributed may be approached directly to review in the future.
- If you’d like to suggest that the journal passes a review request on to a lab member, rather than sharing the review as a development exercise, then it is important you decline the review but suggest your lab member as an alternative. This is vital to ensure the individual builds up their own reviewing record, and so that the journal editors preserve their right to choose reviewers.

There is no charge for publishing papers unless authors choose the open access option 'OnlineOpen' (see 'Accepted Manuscripts' below).

All papers accepted remain copyright of the authors, but an Exclusive Licence to Publish must be granted to the British Ecological Society.


Journal of Ecology works together with Wiley’s Open Access Journal, Ecology and Evolution, to enable rapid publication of good quality research that we are unable to accept for publication in our journal. Authors, whose papers are rejected by Journal of Ecology, may be offered the option of having the paper, along with any related peer reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the Editors of Ecology and Evolution. Authors will not need to reformat or rewrite their manuscript at this stage, and publication decisions will be made a short time after the transfer takes place. The Editors of Ecology and Evolution will accept submissions that report well-conducted research which reaches the standard acceptable for publication. Ecology and Evolution is a Wiley Open Access journal and article publication fees apply. For more information please go to

Preprint policy

BES journals do not consider for publication articles that have already been published in substantial part or in full within a scientific journal, book or similar entity. However, posting an article on the author’s personal website or in an institutional repository is not viewed as prior publication and such articles can therefore be submitted. The journals will also consider for publication manuscripts that have been posted in a recognized preprint archive (such as arXiv and PeerJ PrePrints), providing that upon acceptance of their article for publication the author is still able to grant the BES an exclusive licence to publish the article, or agree to the terms of an OnlineOpen agreement and pay the associated fee. Following submission and peer review organized by the journal, posting of revised versions of the article on a preprint server with a CC-BY licence might affect an author’s ability to sign an Exclusive Licence to publish in a BES journal.

It is the responsibility of authors to inform the journal at the time of submission if and where their article has been previously posted and, if the manuscript is accepted for publication in a BES journal authors are required to provide a link to the final manuscript alongside the original preprint version.

Types of Papers Published

Standard Papers - report practical or theoretical ecological research and typically comprise up to 12 typeset pages. Longer articles are also considered, provided the content justifies the extent.

Essay Reviews - intended to promote discussion of a topical area (rather than offering exhaustive surveys of the literature).

Forum Papers - Forum articles are designed to stimulate scientific debate. They should be short communications presenting opinions on, or responses to, material published in the journal. Reanalysis of the original data presented in the focal article is encouraged, however new data should not generally be presented. Forums should be submitted in a timely manner, ideally within 12 months of publication of the original article. Forum articles will be assessed by the journal Editorial Board and, if deemed to be of sufficient broad interest to our readership, will usually be sent for external peer review. If accepted, they will be held from publication while the authors of the original article are invited to respond. Authors of the original article are not required to write a forum response and are given a set time frame if they choose to do so. If accepted, both Forum articles will then be published together in an issue. If factual errors with the data or analyses presented in the original article come to light, these will be investigated before publication of the Forum article(s) and a correction notice will be published either instead of or as well as the Forum article(s).

Mini-reviews - short, timely articles that outline recent developments in their field. Mini-reviews that propose new ideas or a provocative new direction for a discipline within plant ecology and intend to challenge currently accepted views are encouraged. Mini-reviews should not attempt to provide an exhaustive review of the literature.

Commentaries - short positive assessments of an article that appears in the same issue, highlighting that article's scientific significance. Commentaries are commissioned by the journal Editors and are usually written by one of the reviewers of the article they refer to.

Biological Flora of the British Isles - autecological accounts of plant species native to the British Isles. All offers of new contributions should in the first instance be discussed with the Biological Flora Editor and articles must not be submitted via the online submission system.

The Editors are happy to discuss topics for Essay Reviews, Forum Papers and Mini-review articles with authors before submission. All inquiries should be sent to the Assistant Editor ( in the first instance.

Types of Decisions

  • Manuscript unsuitable - the subject matter is inappropriate for Journal of Ecology or the manuscript lacks novelty or is of insufficient general interest. The manuscript is therefore not sent out for peer review.
  • Rejection - the peer review process reveals that the manuscript is not acceptable for publication in Journal of Ecology.
  • Rejection, resubmission invited - the manuscript in its current state is not acceptable for publication, but the referees and editors see the potential of the presented work. Addressing the concerns raised during peer review would alter the manuscript to an extent that makes it unfeasible to predict whether the re-worked paper will reach the desired standard. Authors are therefore invited to make the necessary changes and resubmit their work for further peer review so that the paper’s suitability for publication can be established.
  • Revision - the comments by reviewers and editors indicate that major or minor changes are required before the manuscript can be considered acceptable.
  • Further revision needed - the comments made by the reviewers and editors have been only partly or insufficiently addressed and further ambiguities remain. Authors are asked to address these concerns in their final version.
  • Acceptance subject to editing - the manuscript content is of acceptable standard for publication and only editorial changes are required. At this stage, we ask for an exclusive licence to publish, colour artwork forms and image files of appropriate quality.
  • Final acceptance - after a final editorial check, acceptance is confirmed and the manuscript files along with the obtained forms are sent to the publisher.
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Authors wishing to appeal a decision should outline their reasons for the appeal in an email to the Assistant Editor. The Assistant Editor will discuss the case with the Executive Editor and, where necessary, with the responsible Associate Editor. The authors will be informed whether the appeal is granted or the original decision is upheld.

Rejected manuscripts cannot be resubmitted under any circumstances except with the express permission of the Executive Editor

Research and Publication Ethics
Researchers must have proper regard for conservation and animal welfare considerations. Although concerning only a minority of papers submitted to Journal of Ecology, attention is drawn to the 'Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research' published in each January issue of the journal Animal Behaviour since 1991. Any possible adverse consequences of the work for populations or individual organisms must be weighed against the possible gains in knowledge and its practical applications. During submission, authors will be required to sign a declaration that their work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out (see below), but editors may seek advice from referees on ethical matters and the final decision will rest with the editors.
Since October 2008, Journal of Ecology has been member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and Editors address all instances of plagiarism, false authorship and unethical publishing behaviour following COPE guidelines.

Declaration of Conflicts of Interest
Our publisher Wiley-Blackwell requires that all authors disclose any potential sources of conflict of interest. Any interest or relationship, financial or otherwise, that might be perceived as influencing an author’s objectivity is considered a potential source of conflict of interest. These must be disclosed when directly relevant or indirectly related to the work that the authors describe in their manuscript. Potential sources of conflict of interest include but are not limited to patent or stock ownership, membership of a company board of directors, membership of an advisory board or committee for a company, and consultancy for or receipt of speaker’s fees from a company. The existence of a conflict of interest does not preclude publication in this journal.

If the authors have no conflict of interest to declare, they must also state this at submission.

It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to review this policy with all authors and to collectively list in the cover letter to the Editor-in-Chief, in the manuscript (in the footnotes, Conflict of Interest or Acknowledgments section), and in the online submission system ALL pertinent commercial and other relationships.

British Ecological Society data archiving policy statement

Data are important products of the scientific enterprise, and they should be preserved and usable for decades in the future. The British Ecological Society thus requires, as a condition for publication, that all data (or, for theoretical papers, mathematical and computer models) supporting the results in papers published in its journals will be archived in an appropriate public archive, such as Dryad, Treebase, NERC data centre, GenBank or figshare, or another archive of the author's choice that provides comparable access and guarantee of preservation. Authors may elect to have the data made publicly available at time of publication or, if the technology of the archive allows, may opt to embargo access to the data for a period of up to a year after publication.

Exceptions, including longer embargoes, may be granted only in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the editor, especially for sensitive information such as confidential social data or the location of endangered species.

For further details about archiving data associated with papers published in the BES journals from 2014 please click here. A list of repositories suitable for ecological data is available here.

Citations to data sources

Authors of submissions that use data from multiple published sources (e.g. if the paper describes a meta-analysis) are encouraged to cite these data sources in the main text of the manuscript. This ensures that these references are fully indexed and their authors are given proper citation credit.

Data sources can be cited in the “Materials and methods” or in the “Data accessibility” sections. If a large number of data sources are used, instead of citing the sources individually, a separate list should be provided after the literature reference list under the heading “Data sources”. The Material and methods section should then refer to this section, i.e. “A list of data sources used in the study are provided in the Data sources section.”

Format of the Data sources section:
• Data from articles published in journals should follow the normal journal citation format.
• Citation of datasets with a DOI should be formatted as follows:

Prugh, L. & Golden, C. (2013) Data from: Does moonlight increase predation risk? Meta-analysis reveals divergent responses of nocturnal mammals to lunar cycles. Dryad Digital Repository  

Olden, J. (2015): Integrating landscape connectivity and invasion vulnerability to guide offensive and defensive invasive species management. figshare

• Citation of datasets without a DOI is permitted, provided the data repository meets the standards set out in our Data Archiving policy. They should be formatted as above but should provide the permanent repository link and accession number for the data.

Manuscript Submission
Please follow these instructions carefully when preparing  your manuscript to ensure that your submission is dealt with speedily.

Journal of Ecology uses a fully web-based system for manuscript submission and peer review and authors must submit their manuscripts online. Full instructions (and a helpline) are accessible from the 'Get Help Now' icon on the online submission site at Persistent problems should, however, be reported to the Managing Editor.

During online submission authors will be required to agree to the Author's Declaration confirming that:

  • the work as submitted has not been published or accepted for publication, nor is being considered for publication elsewhere, either in whole or substantial part.
  • the work is original and all necessary acknowledgements have been made.
  • all authors and relevant institutions have read the submitted version of the manuscript and approve its submission.
  • all persons entitled to authorship have been so included.
  • the work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out, including those relating to conservation and welfare, and to the journal's policy on these matters.
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Manuscript Structure
Submitted manuscripts must be double spaced with sequential line numbers throughout the entire document. Pages should be numbered consecutively, including those containing acknowledgements, references, tables and figures.

Standard Papers. Standard papers should not normally be longer than 12 printed pages (a page of printed text, without figures or tables carries c. 800 words). The typescript should be arranged as follows, with each section starting on a separate page.

Title page. This should contain:

  • a concise and informative title (as short as possible). Do not include the authorities for taxonomic names in the title.
  • a list of authors' names with names and full addresses of institutions. Author first names should be provided in full.
  • the name of the correspondence author, indicated using an asterisk, to whom decisions and, if appropriate, proofs will be sent. Email address, fax number and current address, if different from above, should be provided.
  • a running headline of not more than 45 characters.

Summary. This is called the Abstract on the web submission site. The Summary must not exceed 350 words and should list the main results and conclusions, using simple, factual, numbered statements. The final point of your Summary must be headed 'Synthesis', and must emphasize the key findings of the work and its general significance, indicating clearly how this study has advanced ecological understanding. This policy is intended to maximize the impact of your paper, by making it of as wide interest as possible. This final point should therefore explain the importance of your paper in a way that is accessible to non-specialists. We emphasize that the Journal is more likely to accept manuscripts that address important and topical questions and hypotheses, and deliver generic rather than specific messages.

Key-words. A list in alphabetical order not exceeding ten words or short phrases, excluding words used in the title. One of the keywords must be the subject category that you select for your manuscript as part of the submission process (e.g. "Habitat fragmentation", "Dispersal", etc.).

Introduction. Explain the reasons for carrying out the work, outline the essential background and clearly state the nature of the hypothesis or hypotheses under consideration.

Materials and methods. Provide sufficient details of the techniques employed to enable the work to be repeated. Do not describe or refer to commonplace statistical tests in this section but allude to them briefly in Results.

Results. State the results and draw attention in the text to important details shown in tables and figures.

Discussion. Point out the significance of the results in relation to the reasons for doing the work, and place them in the context of other work.

Author's Contributions. All submissions with more than one author must include an Author's Contributions statement. All persons listed as authors on a paper are expected to meet ALL of the following criteria for authorship:
- substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, or drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
- final approval of the version to be published;
- agreement to be accountable for the aspects of the work that they conducted and ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of their work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Acquisition of funding, provision of facilities, or supervising the research group of authors without additional contribution are not usually sufficient justifications for authorship.
The statement should include an explanation of the contribution of each author. We suggest the following format for the Author Contributions statement:
AB and CD conceived the ideas and designed methodology; CD and EF collected the data; EF and GH analysed the data; AB and CD led the writing of the manuscript. All authors contributed critically to the drafts and gave final approval for publication.

Acknowledgements. If authors refer to themselves as recipients of assistance or funding, they should do so by their initials separated by points (e.g. J.B.T.). Do not acknowledge Editors by name.

Data Accessibility. To enable readers to locate archived data from papers, we require that authors list the database and the respective accession numbers or DOIs for all data from the manuscript that have been made publicly available. An example of what this section should look like can be found in the Data Archiving Q&A.

References (see Specifications).

Tables (see Specifications). Each table should be on a separate page, numbered and accompanied by a legend at the top. They should be referred to in the text as Table 1, etc. Do not present the same data in both figure and table form or repeat large numbers of values from Tables in the text.

Figures (see Specifications). Figures and their legends should be grouped together at the end of the paper, before the appendices (if present). If figures have been supplied as a list at the end of the text file (as recommended), they should appear above their respective legend. The word figures should be abbreviated in the text (e.g. Fig. 1; Figs. 2 and 3), except when starting a sentence. Photographic illustrations should also be referred to as Figures.

Appendices / Supporting information. Please note that Journal of Ecology no longer publishes Appendices in the printed version, but supporting information may be published in electronic form. Instructions for the preparation of supporting information are available here and general instructions on supporting information can be found here.

Please combine multiple files of the same type into one file (e.g. if you have several supplementary tables in Excel please combine these into one Excel file).

In order to promote the advancement of science through the process of documenting and making available the research information and supporting data behind published studies, the editors of this journal strongly encourage authors to make arrangements for archiving their underlying data.

Essay Reviews and Forum Papers. Format and specifications are as for Standard Papers except that any Summary section should be short (no more than 200 words) and the division into Introduction, Materials and methods, Results and Discussion is unlikely to be appropriate. Please see recent editions of the journal for examples.

Mini-reviews. Mini reviews should not exceed 3000 words, inclusive of references and summary. They should have a short, numbered Summary section of no more than 200 words and a maximum of four figures. Section headings should be short and informative.

Commentaries. These articles should not exceed 2500 words inclusive of all parts of the paper. Commentaries do not have a Summary section, but the first paragraph needs to refer to the related article. Format and specifications are as for Standard Papers except that the structure of the main text can be flexible.

Biological Flora of the British Isles. These accounts have their own format (see a recent issue). All offers of new contributions should be addressed to the Biological Flora Editor.

Manuscript specifications
Manuscripts for review must consist of no more than two files and should, ideally, be a single editable (word processor) file with figures and tables added at the end of the text. This file will be converted to a PDF upon upload. Referees will be given access to the PDF version although the word processor file will remain accessible by the Managing Editor. Authors must therefore open each of the PDF files to check that the conversion has not introduced any errors.

Papers must reach certain standards before referees are asked to consider them: submissions that are not in the correct format, or which cannot be downloaded and printed reliably may therefore be returned to authors without review. Authors should retain their electronic manuscript file in case of any difficulties arising during online submission.

For data sources (see Data Archiving).


Pre-submission English-language editing. Authors for whom English is a second language may wish to consider having their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. Our publisher Wiley provides this service for a fee: All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

Language. Journal of Ecology only publishes papers in English and spelling should conform to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English. Journal style is not to use the serial comma (also known as the Oxford or Harvard comma) before and/or/nor unless meaning would otherwise be obscured. Editors reserve the right to modify accepted manuscripts that do not conform to scientific, technical, stylistic or grammatical standards, and minor alterations of this nature may not be seen by authors until the proof stage.

Units, symbols and abbreviations. Authors are requested to use the International System of Units (SI, Système International d'Unités) where possible for all measurements (see Quantities, Units and Symbols, 2nd edn (1975) The Royal Society, London). Note that mathematical expressions should contain symbols not abbreviations. If the paper contains many symbols, it is recommended that they should be defined as early in the text as possible, or within a subsection of the Materials and methods section. Journal style for time units are: s, min, h, days, weeks, months, years.
Scientific names. Give the Latin names of each species in full, together with the authority for its name, at first mention in the main text. Subsequently, the genus name may be abbreviated, except at the beginning of a sentence. If there are many species, cite a Flora or checklist which may be consulted for authorities instead of listing them in the text. Do not give authorities for species cited from published references. Give priority to scientific names in the text (with colloquial names in parentheses, if desired).

Manufacturers' names. When a special piece of equipment has been used it should be described so that the reader can trace its specifications by contacting the manufacturer; thus: 'Data were collected using a solid-state data logger (CR21X, Campbell Scientific, Utah, USA)'.

Mathematical material. Where ever possible, mathematical equations and symbols should be typed in-line by keyboard entry (using Symbol font for Greek characters, and superscript and subscript options where applicable). Do not embed equations or symbols using Equation Editor or Math Type, or equivalents, when simple in-line, keyboard entry is possible. Equation software should be used only for displayed, multi-line equations and equations and symbols that can not be typed. Suffixes and operators such as d, log, ln and exp will be set in Roman type; matrices and vectors in bold type; other algebraic symbols in italics; and Greek symbols in upright type. Make sure that there is no confusion between similar characters like l ('ell') and 1 ('one'). If there are several equations they should be identified by an equation number (e.g. 'eqn 1' after the equation, and cited in the text as 'equation 1').

Number conventions. Text: Numbers from one to nine should be spelled out except when used with units; e.g. two eyes but 10 stomata; 3 years and 5 kg. Tables: Do not use an excessive number of digits when writing a decimal number to represent the mean of a set of measurements (the number of digits should reflect the precision of the measurement).

Figures (including photographs). Please note that your paper will be published more quickly if instructions on figure content and figure format are followed carefully. Vector graphic figures will give the best possible online publication quality.

All illustrations are classified as figures and should be numbered consecutively (Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.) and placed in a list at the end of the document. Figures should be cited in the text as, e.g., Fig. 1, Fig. 1a,b, Figs 1 and 2 (no period after Figs), or, if starting a sentence, Figure 1. Each figure must have a legend, presented separately from the figure (i.e. as text rather than as part of the image). The legend should give enough detail so that the figure can be understood without reference to the text. Information (e.g. keys) that appears on the figure itself should not be duplicated in the legend. The figure legend label should be abbreviated, in bold, and end in a period (e.g. Fig. 1.). The figure legend text should end in a full stop.

Please ensure that artwork is prepared to fit across one or two columns or two-thirds width (71 mm, 149 mm or 109 mm, respectively). Wherever possible, figures should be sized to fit into a single column width. To make best use of space, you may need to rearrange parts of figures (e.g. so that they appear side by side). If figures are prepared that will require reduction, please ensure that symbols, labels, axes text, etc., are large enough to allow reduction to a final size of about 8 point, i.e. capital letters will be about 2 mm tall. Lettering should use a sans serif font (e.g. Helvetica or Arial) with capitals used for the initial letter of the first word only. Bold lettering should not be used within the figure. Units of axes should appear in parentheses after the axis name, as required. All lettering and symbols must be proportioned, clear and easy to read, i.e. no labels should be too large or too small. Figures should not be boxed (superfluous bounding axes) and tick marks must be on the inside of the axes if possible. Label multi-panel figures (a), (b), (c), etc., preferably in the upper left corner. Use greyscales (e.g. 0, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100%) in preference to pattern fills where possible. If colour figures are submitted for colour online publication only, ensure that after conversion to greyscale they remain entirely intelligible for the black-and-white print publication of your paper.

Colour figures (including photographs) must be accompanied by the Colour Work Agreement Form. The cost for colour printing must be met by the author (currently £150 for the first figure, £50 thereafter, exclusive of VAT). If no funds are available to cover colour printing costs, the journal offers free colour reproduction online (with black-and-white reproduction in print). If authors require this, they should write their figure legend to accommodate both versions of the figure within the same legend, and indicate their colour requirements on the Colour Work Agreement Form. This form should be completed in all instances where authors require colour, whether in print or online. Therefore, at acceptance, please download the form and return it to: Production Editor, Journal of Ecology, Wiley-Blackwell , 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK. Please note that the ORIGINAL HARDCOPY form must be returned in all instances (a faxed or scanned version cannot be accepted). Please note that if you require colour content your paper cannot be published until this form is received.

File formats. At the time of submission, or after acceptance of the manuscript for publication, figure files should be supplied as follows. Photographic figures should be saved in tif format at 300 d.p.i. (or failing that in jpg format with low compression). Line figures should be saved as vector graphics (i.e. composed of lines, curves, points and fonts; not pixels) in pdf, eps, ai, svg or wmf format, or embedded as such in Word, as this enhances their display when published online. Combination figures (those composed of vector and pixel/raster elements) should also be saved in pdf, eps, ai, svg or wmf format where possible (or embedded as such in Word). If line figures and combination figures cannot be saved in vector graphics format, they should be saved in tif format at high resolution (i.e. 600 d.p.i.) (do not save them in jpg format as this will cause blurring). If you are unsure about the quality of your figures, please inspect a small portion by zooming in to check that fonts, curves and diagonal lines are smooth-edged and do not appear unduly blocky or burred when viewed at high magnification. Note that line and combination figures supplied in tif format are downsampled for online publication, authors should therefore preferentially opt for vector graphic formats for these figure types (note, however, that for print publication full resolution files will be used). For full instructions on preparing your figures please refer to our Electronic Artwork Information for Authors page.

Tables and table captions. Tables should be provided in editable format (rather than as embedded images or separate PDF files) with the columns clearly defined (for example, separated tabs or using the table function in Word or similar word processor software).

Data Accessibility. A list of databases with relevant accession numbers or DOIs for all data from the manuscript that have been made publicly available should be included in this section. For example:

Data Accessibility
- Species descriptions: uploaded as online supporting information
- Phylogenetic data: TreeBASE Study accession no. Sxxxx
- R scripts: uploaded as online supporting information
- Sample locations, IMa2 input files and microsatellite data: DRYAD entry doi: xx.xxxx/dryad.xxxx

Citations and references. Citation to work by four or more authors in the text should be abbreviated with the use of et al. (e.g. Able et al. 1997). Work with the same first author and date should be coded by letters, e.g. Thompson et al. 1991a,b. Citations should be listed in chronological order in the text and separated by a semi-colon, e.g. Zimmerman et al. 1986; Able et al. 1997.

We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting. EndNote reference styles can be searched for here:; Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here: The references in the Reference list should be in alphabetical order with the journal name unabbreviated. The format for papers, entire books and chapters in books is as follows:

  • Boutin, C. & Harper, J.L. (1991) A comparative study of the population dynamics of five species of Veronica in natural habitats. Journal of Ecology, 79, 199-221.
  • Clarke, N.A. (1983) The ecology of dunlin (Calidris alpina L.) wintering on the Severn estuary. PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh.
  • Pimm, S.L. (1982) Food Webs. Chapman and Hall, London.
  • Sibly, R.M. (1981) Strategies of digestion and defecation. Physiological Ecology (eds C. R. Townsend & P. Calow), pp. 109-139. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

References should only be cited as 'in press' if the paper has been accepted for publication. Reference to unpublished works, works in preparation or works under review should cited as 'unpublished data', with the author's initials and surname given; such works should not be included in the Reference section. Any paper cited as 'in press' or under review elsewhere must be uploaded with the author's manuscript as a 'supplementary file not for review' so that it can be seen by the editors and, if necessary, made available to the referees.

Licence to Publish
Authors of accepted manuscripts will be required to grant Wiley an exclusive licence to publish the article on behalf of the British Ecological Society. Signing an Exclusive Licence Agreement (ELA) is a condition of publication and papers will not be published until a signed form is received. (Papers subject to government or Crown copyright are exempt from this requirement.) Once a paper is accepted, the corresponding author will receive an email from Wiley prompting them to login to Author Services, where, via the Wiley Author Licencing Service (WALS), they will be able to complete the licence agreement on behalf of all co-authors. The terms and conditions of the ELA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs here. Do not complete this PDF until you are prompted to do so by Author Services. Please read the licence form carefully before signing: conditions are changed from time to time and may not be the same as the last time you completed one of these forms.

Funder arrangements A number of funders, including Research Councils UK (RCUK), the NIH and Wellcome Trust, require deposit of the accepted (post-peer-reviewed) version of articles that they fund, if these are not already published via an open access route. The BES journals are all compliant with these mandates and full details of the arrangements can be found here.

OnlineOpen is available to authors who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. The charge for OnlineOpen publication is $3,000 (discounted to $2,250 for papers where the first or corresponding author is a current member of the British Ecological Society, For the full list of terms and conditions, click here.

Following acceptance, any authors wishing to publish their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form and will be given the option of signing a range of different Creative Commons licences, depending on author choice and funder mandate.

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

Accepted Manuscripts
After a paper has been accepted for publication, it will be uploaded as an Accepted Article on Wiley Online Library within approximately 2 working days. Accepted Articles are the peer-reviewed version of the manuscript BEFORE copyediting, typesetting and proofing. The paper will be assigned its DOI (digital object identifier) at this stage so that it can be cited and tracked as normal. Any final, minor corrections can still be made to the paper at proof stage.

Online production tracking is available for your article through Wiley-Blackwell's Author Services. Author Services enables authors to track their article - once it has been accepted - through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production. Authors will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system. Please ensure that a complete e-mail address is provided when submitting the manuscript. Visit the Author Services page for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

Proofs. The corresponding author will receive an e-mail alert containing a link to a web site from where a PDF file of the proof can be downloaded. A reliable e-mail address must therefore be provided for the corresponding author. Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read the PDF. Further instructions will be sent with the proof. Authors who are likely to be out of contact and cannot have their e-mail checked regularly, should nominate an alternative person to receive and correct the proofs; they should do this when submitting their final typescript. The editors reserve the right to correct the proofs themselves, using the accepted version of the typescript, if the author's corrections are overdue and journal publication would otherwise be delayed. Excessive alterations in the text, other than typesetting errors, may be charged to the author.

Please note that your proofs should preferably be marked-up electronically using the Acrobat’s PDF annotation tools, and returned by email to the address below. Instructions on using the annotation tools are given at the end of the proof. If you are unable to electronically annotate the proof, authors may mark-up hardcopy. Please return your corrected proofs to the Production Editor, within 3 days of receipt. If this is not possible, or if you have no corrections, please advise the Production Editor by e-mail. Send corrections to (or if returning hardcopy: Production Editor, Journal of Ecology, Wiley-Blackwell, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford UK). If you registered with Author Services when you submitted your paper you will receive an e-mail within 48-hours to confirm that your proof corrections have been received.

Once corrected proofs of a manuscript are available, the 'Accepted Article' version will be replaced online by the EarlyView version of the paper.

EarlyView. Journal of Ecology is covered by Wiley-Blackwell’s EarlyView service. EarlyView articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready and are not held until publication of the next scheduled print issue. To register to receive an e-mail alert when your EarlyView article is published, click here and log-in to Wiley Online Library EarlyView articles are complete and final. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the author's final corrections have been incorporated. Because they are in their final form, no changes can be made after online publication. The nature of EarlyView articles means that they do not yet have volume, issue or page numbers, so EarlyView articles cannot be cited in the traditional way. They are therefore given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before it is allocated to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article. More information about DOIs can be found at

Offprints. Free access to the final PDF offprint or your article will be available via Author Services only. Please therefore sign up for Author Services when your paper is accepted if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits that Author Service offers (see above). Paper offprints may also be purchased and should be ordered when you return your proof corrections by following the instructions supplied at the time.

Author material archive policy. Please note that unless specifically requested, Wiley-Blackwell will dispose of all hardcopy or electronic material submitted 2 months after publication. If you require the return of any material submitted, please inform the editorial office or production editor when your paper is accepted for publication.


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